Basic Plan on Consumer Policy
The Basic Plan on Consumer Policy is a five-year plan based on the Basic Act on Consumer Policy, which is established by the government for promoting consumer policy. This is decided by the Cabinet. The Plan is formulated to set forth the government guideline on policy measures intended to implement consumer policy in a systematic fashion so as to ensure protection and promotion of consumer interests.
The Plan provides a summary of, among other things, the basic direction of consumer policy, specific actions in each area and issue to be addressed with a special focus.
Measures to prevent financial detriment
Pursuant to the Consumer Safety Act, the Consumer Affairs Agency is working on preventing financial consumer detriment by taking prompt action to raise consumer awareness of dishonest business schemes. The CAA also takes an administrative action against the business concerned if necessary.
Efforts to reduce food loss and waste
Food loss and waste that, though good to eat, gets thrown out, is estimated to amount to approximately 6.46 million tons (estimated in FY2015) of approximately 28.42 million tons of annual food disposal in Japan.
About half amount of the food loss and waste is generated by general households and comes largely from direct disposal, leftovers and excess removal.
An amount of food loss and waste generated per capita is estimated as much as about 51 kg per year.
The Consumer Affairs Agency has launched knowledge–promoting and education campaigns in order that consumers recognize the importance of reducing food loss and waste and to take actions from a MOTTAINAI (means "What a waste!" express regret over this waste) point of view.
"Direct disposal" means the discarded food as it is, without being used or provided as an ingredient for cooking or food products, for example being past the freshness date.
"Leftovers" means the discarded food without being eaten while being used or provided as a meal.
"Excess removal" means discarding eatable parts of food exceedingly at the time of removal for uneatable parts, such as when peeling the skin from a potato.
Sharing information on Internet-related consumer issues
The Consumer Affairs Agency regularly organizes an "Internet-Based Consumer Transaction Liaison Meeting," attended by relevant governmental bodies, trade associations and other experts, for exchanges of information and inputs with the aim of sharing Internet-related emerging issues and encouraging stakeholders to take actions.
The Consumer Affairs Agency is addressing to strengthen international cooperation by actively participating in international conferences such as the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Committee on Consumer Policy (CCP) and International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network (ICPEN). The CAA is vice-chair of the CCP and the Working Party on Consumer Product Safety of the OECD. In addition, the CAA will strengthen cooperative relationships with countries with strong economic relations with Japan through close political dialogue.
In order to resolve cross-border consumer issues, the Cross-border Consumer center Japan (CCJ) has been established in 2011. If a consumer encounters a cross-border consumer issues, he or she can file a complaint online to the CCJ. Next, the CCJ forwards the complaint to a partner organization in a foreign country and proposes a resolution. The partner organization forwards the complaint received from the CCJ to the local business outside Japan. Then, the partner organization forwards a response to the CCJ. The CCJ forwards the response to the consumer. Vice versa, a consumer outside Japan can file a complaint to a partner organization if he or she encounters a consumer issue with a business in Japan. The CCJ helps resolve the complaint. As of January 2019, the CCJ has 13 overseas partners covering 24 countries/regions.